The Berliner Tafel’s operations at the fair must be well organized in order to ensure that the highly perishable goods reach the needy as quickly as possible.
The world’s largest such fair, Fruit Logistica is the premiere meeting place of the international produce trade. Around 2,400 companies present every imaginable sort of fruit and vegetables. The starting gun for the workers of the Berliner Tafel is fired on the last evening, after all the visitors have left the halls: over 350 volunteers gather together all of the produce displayed at the vast fair. Some 3,000 green reusable crates provided by IFCO stand ready to be filled with goods. The ecological aspects of the operation play a major role, as the Berliner Tafel fully subscribes to the principles of IFCO’s WORLDWIDE RESPONSIBILITY initiative: the operation exclusively employs environmentally friendly reusable containers.
On the same evening, more than 30 trucks bring the goods to a central collection point at the fairgrounds where the sorting work begins: the most fragile produce must be delivered first. The entire operation requires a detailed timing plan and depends on helpers who are trained to know their sorting priorities and those goods which have a short shelf life must be delivered to the needy immediately.
The balance of the sorting process takes two days, always assuring that the most fragile produce gets the highest priority. All in all, more than 150 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, an impressive amount which would normally end up in the refuse heap, is rescued, sorted and packed for delivery to Berlin’s needy.